1623 Hillcrest Avenue

I've been working on this project for over 5 weeks now and it is finally done.  It was a big one!  The property is located in Glendale at the top of Pacific Ave.  There is a very sweet little neighborhood called Kenneth Village, if you've never been there you should drive through - really cute houses.

I think the thing I love about this project is that it shows how using what you already have can work if you can edit everything else (paint, lighting, accessories).  All of the furnishings are from the two households that I merged together and edited out what wouldn't work - it isn't perfect but looks pretty good to me!  I only added a few of my own pieces to finish out the overall look.  Of course the finishing touches are mine but I did use a few of their accessories that actually turned out looking pretty great in the house.  I had slipcovers made for every sofa & chair in the house pretty much and as you can see...white slipcovers are lovely!

So look around your house - you probably have some fantastic pieces - but the space needs to be set up differently, the color on the walls needs to be changed, lighting needs updated - it can all be done easily!   Seriously...really look at the video...I used quite a few pieces in the house, just not vampire'ish anymore!

I'm going to share the transformation for you so it can appreciated!  Yes...I'm patting myself on the back...again!

Exterior Front

Exterior work completed: painted, new light fixtures, new landscaping, gate painted, power washed driveway

Main Level Interior Spaces

Interior work completed:  Every surface was painted, floors refinished, lighting replaced

Kitchen Transformation

Work completed:  New light fixture, painted cabinets, new fridge, floors refinished, new hardware

Second Floor Transformation

Interior work completed:  painting every surface, carpet removed & floors refinished, new light fixtures, closets reworked & mirror inserts

Basement Remodeling

Work completed:  painted every surface, floors replaced, drywall in unfinished area, electrical work, new doors, etc.

Guest House Transformation

Work completed:  White washed the entire thing!  So much better!

Pool & Pool House Transformation

Work completed:  pool & hot tub re-plastered, every surface repainted, new sink/bar made, new lighting

Thank You's!

Of course - behind every good stager, there is a team of subs making a huge difference as well!  I'd like to take a minute to thank the following subs for all of their hard work on their projects!  If your looking for people to help you with something at your house - these are the people to go to!

  • Stan Brothers - The Nicest Handyman
  • Maria Newton Designs -  Landscaping
  • Victor - Painting
  • Cleaners - Americlean
  • Paul Moreno - Garden Table in Pool House
  • Pool Refinishing, Basement Refinishing, Electrical & Plumbing - ask

Lastly...the photos! Stephanie Wiley!  You did a great job capturing all of my work!  Thanks!  www.stephaniewiley.com

Maria even built a garden in the old dog run!  How cute is this?!

Listing Agent:  Thomas Atamian, Senior Estates Director, Dilbeck Real Estate

 Mobile: 818.235.6325

 

4903 Revlon, La Canada Flintridge

My FAVORITE type of project!  I've been working with the owners for a month or so, planning painting, landscaping, etc.  They trusted me to set myself free with the property which is so much fun!  I selected some soothing colors and furnishings/accessories for the property to make it feel like home!  4903 Revlon is a super cute property click on the link below to see more photos!

4903 Revlon, La Canada Flintridge

Listing Agent:  Janice McGlashan, Coldwell Banker

5255 Alta Canyada Road


transformation | mine & theirs = update

The transformation of this property has been amazing!

5255 Alta Canyada Road, LCF, CA

We decided that a good cleanup, painting, landscaping and staging just one room would be enough for this property!  The owner had some asian influanced pieces we saved from the estate sale to use for staging - they mix well with my pieces.  Turned out nice!

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July - December...I was pretty darn busy!

There are times when I wonder why I have not been bloggin' my staged properties.  Is it because I'm not really that busy and being lazy or am I just too busy?  I was pleasantly surprised as I looked through my photos that I have been pretty darn busy over the last few months.  

The power of staging...it is in this gallery!

Of all the below properties (all but the last three) the owners let me loose on their houses and trusted the process of preparing a house and listened to why I was proposing removing certain items, painting rooms, clearing out photographs, bringing in stylish|fresher|hipper decor - setting the stage for buyers rather than themselves.  Pictured here - the top twelve houses - all but one went into escrow in the first week (and that is just because it doesn't get listed until next week) and all had multiple offers and fetched over asking!  The bottom three - they sold, but didn't do the majority of the staging suggestions and it took a little longer to finally sell.  Was it just their luck at the time, the market at the time or the fact that if they went just a little farther with staging the house would have grabbed more attention?  

Here are some highlights from the latter half of 2013:

Upcoming Market?

Things are going crazy right now so look forward to more highlights over the next few months!  Spring has sprung and sellers are getting their houses ready!  Lots of houses it seems like!  I will try my best to put out listings as they are up on the MLS!  There are going to be some great ones coming up...

1845 Las Lunas, Pasadena

About a month and a half ago I went on a consultation appointment for this charming bungalow in Pasadena.  If you are thinking about a starter home or downsizing into Pasadena, this is such a cute house with perfect spaces inside, lovely gardens and outbuildings on the property.  Go to the property website to check out the rest of the bungalow!

I love these types of consultations!  The homeowners followed my report to the "T" and the property turned out beautifully!  Great job homeowners! 

www.1845laslunas.com

Listing Agent:  Janice McGlashan, Coldwell Banker

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

This charming Craftsman style home is located on a gracious tree lined street with other vintage homes. From the moment you step onto the front walkway you will be taken by the thoughtful front gardens and architecture of the home. The 1912 era property retains many charming original details; including hardwood floors, living room with fireplace and formal dining room with built-in cabinetry. The home has three bedrooms, a family room/bedroom and one and one half baths. The kitchen has been tastefully updated. The rest of the home is ready for your personal touches. The back patio is perfect for relaxation and the large lot includes a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and vines of table grapes. Two separate studios, a one car garage and a shed complete the property. This wonderful home is near shopping, outdoor recreational areas and transportation- including the Gold Line.

 

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400 Rosita, Pasadena, CA

Wow...you must go to the property website for my most recent project I worked on 400 Rosita, Pasadena!  There are 54 photos on the website and take the time to look through each and every one of them!  If ever I had dreams about a home I might live in one day...well this one is it!  The property sits on the end of a small cul-de-sac and feels as if you have left Los Angeles!  Designed with old world charm but with beautiful craftsmanship!  If only I could win the lottery!

www.400Rosita.com

Listing Agent:  Janice McGlashan, Coldwell Banker La Canada

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1830 Earlmont, LCF

I've been busy staging properties and not able to share as many homes as I'd like to, but wanted to post about this beautiful home I worked on last week and that just went on the MLS on Monday.  Listed by Chris & Noelle Duryee of Dilbeck La Canada Office.

Property Details

A beautiful Southern California home nestled among the Deodars, that rests on nearly ¾ of an acre, accommodating the lifestyle of casual, yet elegant living. From every room you will take in a view of the lush landscape that surrounds the home, and as night falls, the city lights of downtown Los Angeles are revealed. The four sets of French doors in the living room open to a raised deck that overlooks the spacious grounds, including a variety of mature trees and plants that offer spectacular year-round color. A second patio with a pool, spa, built-in barbeque area, and wood burning fireplace make this a perfect spot for enjoying an outdoor social gathering. The interior provides comfortable living areas with high cathedral ceilings, architectural moldings, dark stained hardware floors, three fireplaces and a downstairs home theater. This home sits in a sought after neighborhood, in the highly desired La Canada School District, located a short distance from downtown Los Angeles. It is truly a peaceful and serene retreat away from the noise and stress of city life.

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2626 Mountain Pine, La Crescenta

I'm kinda in love with this house!  This is a special property listed by Carey Haynes.  It has a very interesting floor plan with an atrium entry area which has access to the living room & family room with big sliding glass doors.  The view is amazing off the back of the house!  We painted the entire interior of the house, I used about half of their existing furniture and brought in a bit of my own and then accessorized the heck out of the house with fresh patterns & colors.  Thanks Carey for setting me free to update the house!

2626 Mountain Pine, La Crescenta, CA

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4321 Chula Senda, LCF

I'm not going to lie, I hardly had to do anything on this property during the consultation.  Usually when I go to a property we take a tour of the property then I go back to my office to write up a room by room staging plan.  With this beautiful home the owners had most everything close to perfect when we arrived so my job was pretty darn easy, but I just wanted to share photos from this unbelievable estate!  Enjoy!

Listing Agent:  Janice McGlasahan

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436 Mercedes Drive, Pasadena

Color, color, color!  I've added a few punches of color in this listing!  It is an adorable little english tutor in Pasadena that was all beige so I wanted to make it come alive!  

I was panicking a little I must admit because my inventory is dwindling right now as most of it is out at other properties!  I decided to go on the hunt around town and found a beautiful sofa at The Salvation Army, yes Salvation Army!  It was $130 and looks brand new!  The red chest I found at Home Goods on clearance for $89 and it is what makes the room POP.

Listed by:  Gillan Abercrombie Frame

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3551 Giddings Ranch Road, Altadena, CA

Another example of one of those properties that had been on the market with a different realtor with no success and then the owners decided to list with Ben Kelly, Coldwell Banker La Canada. Ben and I have worked with each other in the past and when he got this listing knew I'd be able to help steer the sellers towards having a more photo friendly & buyer ready property.  Just a few changes here and there make a huge difference.  These owners were forgetting one of their main assets to their property, the back yard!  Remember these things when you are getting your house ready to sell:

  • Curb appeal, landscaping & outdoor living are VERY important!  Don't overlook these areas of your property.
  • Artwork:  Don't hang your artwork TOO HIGH!  This is the funniest thing actually!  Men seem to always hang artwork about 8 inches too high.  I have no explanation for it but it just seems to be that way in every house I stage.
  • Bedding:  Always remember if your bedding is over 2 years old...it is time to get new fresh bedding & bath linens.  It makes a difference!
  • Family Photos:  DO NOT take down all of your family photos.  When I go into a house that the family photos have obviously been taken down, to me is signals that there was a divorce, etc.  I think it is more important to only have a few key photos around so that a buyer can see that there is a loving happy family who has lived in the house!

This house is currently in ESCROW!  After only 1 week!  Way to go owners, Ben & me :)

4839 Gould Avenue, La Canada Flintridge

This is one of those houses that you notice when you drive by...at least I do!  It has always been one of my favorites on Gould.  I run by it a couple of times a week on my 5:45 am run...always take a little look to my right..and always think to myself what a beautiful home!

I was so excited when I got to meet the owners about a year ago and was able to see the property.  They have lived in the house since 1959!  Really...1959!  Such sweet owners that are cute and hip for their age!  They met with us a year ago to start thinking about what they needed to do in order to get their house ready to sell for 2013.  They've done a pretty good job plugging away at the house and were open to us coming in and doing just a few tweaks at the very end!  It is so hard when someone has lived in their house for so long...chairs in certain places you don't really want to move, etc.!  Luckily I think this house should be OK just they way it shows because it is such a lovely family home.

Listed by Janice McGlashan, Coldwell Banker

4358 Fairlawn Drive, LCF

This listing is near and dear to my heart!  Nearly 6  years ago when I was first getting started with getting my career going after focusing on my family for over 10 years, I was hired by this family to do the interior of their home.  I was challenged by mixing in their existing furniture and updating the rest of home.  The family has hardly changed a thing in the house over the last 5 years.

They had put the house on the market about 9 months ago with a realtor I am not familiar with.  I'm not exactly sure if they ever go offers or what the story was but ulitimately they took the house off the market during the holidays and then decided to list with another realtor.  The owner called me asking me my opinion of who she should interview as her new realtor and I was more than happy to give her my opinion.  She took my opinion and listed with Janice McGlashan.

After Janice was on board, I came in and did my thing staging the house, they had photos, caravan & there was an offer a week later!  Luck...coincidence...good team work?  Maybe a combination of them all!

www.4358fairlawn.com

2051 Los Amigos, La Canada Flintridge, CA

Additional Staging!  I staged this 5400 sq.ft. home three months ago.  Initially, the realtor  and I decided on focusing on the Living Room & the Dining Room three months ago, but the property has not sold yet so we decided to go a little further with the staging.  We focused on the downstairs living spaces and a separate building that is outside.

Featured are before & afters of the two new areas I concentrated on with the second phase of staging.  The house is huge and called for furniture that is much larger and in scale with the rooms.  I tried out a new vendor for some of the pieces I used and I could not be happier.  I carry a minimal inventory of furniture and then fill in with accessories that I hand pick for each property.  Personally, I think the house turned out great!

If price wasn’t an issue - I maybe would have staged the master bedroom, because as a stager of course I would…I’d like to see every room staged, but a seller/realtor has to know when to stop and I understand that as well.

OMG!  I cannot believe how beautiful, gorgeous you made the living room, and the half of the TV room and a bit of the dining room that you started today.  I must eat all my words!

UPDATE:  IN ESCROW! Offer over asking price on the first day with backup offers!


Update!  Just had to share the photographs from my skeptical seller! :)  As you can see from the photos the house turned out beautiful.

A garage full of boxes and extra furniture and the seller only had to purchase new towels!  She had wonderful artwork and accessories and I brought in a few extra pillows to finish things off!  Looks awesome!

3115 Maiden Lane, Altadena, CA

Listing Agents:  Steve & Lisa Haussler, Coldwell Banker Pasadena

Honestly, if anyone is out there give us some feedback!  

Stephanie Wiley and I have been working on putting together a video for realtors to link on their websites.  We are hoping they are a little more interesting than a virtual tour.  This is my house and it was one of our first attempts at doing a video.  Give us some feedback..good, bad or indifferent!

  • Is it more or less eye-catching than the regular Virtual Tour?
  • Does it give you enough of a feeling of the property, but you want to see more?
  • What do you notice that is different than the usual virtual tour?
  • Is the quality of the video appealing?
Check out the link to 860 Greenridge to see what is the latest and greatest in terms of a virtual tour.

Thanks!  And have a great weekend!

Why should we paint to sell our house?

5144 Frederick Avenue, La Crescenta, CA
I worked on this house recently with realtor Bert Eaton and the sellers.  The sellers went into the initial appointment with me knowing that they were going to do “some work” on the house before listing.  They were completely open and ready to all of my recommendations and you can see the amazing results were made by just having a little faith.  They sank all of their budget into the cosmetic fixes such as painting, carpeting, landscaping & new light fixtures, so I did not do any actual staging in the house.  But as you can see…PAINT goes a long way!
 The curb appeal of the house is wonderful now…before it was a drive by and not really noticed, which is why I decided on the yellow door.  I realize this is not a color that you see on a front door very often, but the color combo looks amazing and brought the house from the 1960’s into 2012!  I love it!
About a year ago I stumbled on a website called Pinterest.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, you must!  Click on the link and you will be addicted!  It is how I came up with the color combo for the exterior of the house.  This site is a designers dream for research at the simple click of my mouse!

Do we really need to pay someone to tell us to throw stuff away?  On top of her fee she’s asking us to purchase new stuff!  Arg!

Well, this is a funny story.  Last week I went to an appointment with a new realtor to one of her listing.  I really loved the house, the vibe of the house and the seller.  After our appointment I whipped together a room by room staging plan and sent it off feeling like we had a a perfect plan and everything was good to go!  To my dismay I received an email that I don’t think was meant at all for me but for the sellers husband….I quoted word for word above.  (kinda awkward, huh!?)

My first instinct was to email them back and say go fly a kite…it sort of hurt my feelings a little - although I laughed out loud when I read it first!  After I slept on it a night (which I highly recommend for so many things like this that can be taken the wrong way) I realized that I too would have said the exact same thing to my husband if we had a stager come into our house telling us what to do with our family home which we loved so much!

Like I said, after a night to sleep on it I sent off an explanation of the multiple ways a stager can be utilized to get the final results outlined from a staging report.

  1. The owners can throw their hands up and turn the house over to the stager to do all of the work. $$$
  2. The owners can dig in and do the de-cluttering, have the stager come in and execute majority of the staging and final touches. $$
  3. The owners can dig in, do the staging laid in the staging report and then have the stager do a final walk for a “fresh eye final tweak”. $

My wheels were turning after receiving the email and I decided to put together a few before and afters so that clients can see what de-cluttering, painting, rearrangement of furniture, rehanging of artwork, etc. can do for a space.  It makes a HUGE impact.

I sound a bit like a broken record in my staging reports, I mention certain things on each page it seems.  Here are some tips for getting ready for a stager:

  • Donate!  It is time to be critical about your belongings!  Be ruthless and donate items which you know you will not be taking with you to your next home.
  • Remove all extra furniture from rooms (extra chairs, stacks of stuff in corners on furniture, etc.)
  • Touch up any paint that is dinged up, re-paint rooms that haven’t been painted in 3 years.
  • Clear out closets, bathroom cabinets, etc.
  • Start the process of fixing up the yard and landscaping.
  • Start a honey do list and line up contractors or handymen to get the items fixed.

Altadena Listing

One of the things I love about my job is that I get to see houses, houses that I never even knew existed!  Of course, LA is a huge town, but I had no idea that Altadena had a gated community with new track homes.  It is a beautiful community for someone wanting to downsize into a newer home and still have access to downtown LA & Pasadena.

This was a property that the agent and I ran through room by room and de-cluttered and rearranged.  I wish I had taken before photos of the spaces.  Oh well…next one!

2322 Barton Lane, Montrose, CA 91020


In Escrow in 1 Week!

The owners of this property where open to all of the suggestions I had to prepare their house for listing. By taking the time to prepare every part of the house, the curb appeal, refreshing the inside with paint, removing a little furniture here and there, they were able to capture the attention of buyers with a well prepared home.  Don’t assume that buyers can see through the clutter, fix-it’s etc.!  You must prepare your home as though you were a buyer…would you buy something that looks  neglected?